No. 15/17 UNH (5-4, 3-3 CAA) at No.9/9 Villanova (6-3, 4-2 CAA)
12:00 p.m. |Saturday, Nov. 13, 2010 | Villanova Stadium | Villanova, Pa.
Television: Comcast Sports Net N.E.: Scott Graham (play-by-play), Kevin Reilly (analyst)
Radio: Wildcat Sports Network: Jim Jeannotte (play-by-play), Loren Foxx (analyst)
UNH: Sean McDonnell
Years as head coach: 12th
Overall Record: 85-57
Record at UNH: 85-57
CAA Record: 51-46
Alma Mater: UNH '78
Villanova: Andy Talley
Years as head coach: 31st (26th at Villanova)
Overall Record: 213-123-2
Record at Villanova: 185-105-1
CAA Record: 111-74
Alma Mater: Southern Connecticut '67
LAST TIME OUT: DURHAM, N.H.- Sophomore linebacker Matt Evans recorded a career-high 20 tackles, and the eighth-ranked University of New Hampshire football team held No. 4 William & Mary to only 171 yards of total offense, but the Tribe snapped the Wildcats' school-record 12-game home winning streak with a 13-3 victory Saturday afternoon at Cowell Stadium. William & Mary improved to 7-2 overall and remained atop the Colonial Athletic Association with a 5-1 mark. UNH slipped to 5-4 overall and 3-3 in the CAA. Nine of Evans' 20 tackles were solo stops, giving him a CAA-leading 113 tackles on the season. Junior defensive end Brian McNally matched a career high with 1.5 sacks, bringing his league-leading total to 7.0, and Hugo Souza made a season-high 14 tackles, eight solo, jumping three spots to sixth on UNH's all-time tackles' list with 309 career stops. Senior quarterback R.J. Toman went 26 of 44 for 232 yards and an interception. The 44 attempts matched a career high, and Toman's 14 rushing yards on 13 carries, including three sacks, led a Wildcats' ground game that managed only 39 yards on 31 rushes. Senior wide receiver Terrance Fox made eight receptions for 70 yards –both game-highs- and his 126 all-purpose yards also set the pace. The Wildcats were held to just three points for the first time since Sept. 21, 2002. Tribe running back Jonathan Grimes rushed 30 times for 114 yards and a touchdown in the victory, offsetting an impotent W&M passing game that amassed only 30 yards with third-string quarterback Brent Caprio going 5-for-10 in his first career start. After a scoreless first period, the Wildcats took a 3-0 lead on the first play of the second quarter, courtesy of a 40-yard field goal from freshman kicker Mike MacArthur. A 19-yard punt return from Souza put UNH in terrific field position at the Tribe's 39-yard line to begin the drive. Sean Jellison (five carries, 12 yards/four receptions, 27 yards) carried twice for six yards, and Toman completed a four-yard pass to Fox and a two-yard pass to Dontra Peters ( 10 carries, 11 yards/two catches, 11 yards), advancing inside the red zone for the only time in the contest. William & Mary nabbed a 6-3 lead with 7:41 remaining in the first half when Caprio connected with wide receiver Chase Hill for a 19-yard touchdown pass in the far left corner of the end zone. It was Caprio's first career scoring toss and Hill's first touchdown reception of the season. The PAT failed. The Wildcats threatened late in the half, moving the ball to the Tribe 21 with :29 to go when Toman's pass intended for sophomore Joey Orlando (one catch, 20 yards) in the end zone was picked off by safety Jake O'Connor, preserving the College's 3-0 lead at the intermission. William & Mary capitalized on a muffed punt by Fox, which was recovered by Jabrel Mines at the UNH 35 with 2:00 left in the third quarter. Grimes then ran the ball three straight times, gaining nine yards, 25 yards and plunging in from one yard out for his eighth rushing touchdown of the season. Drake Kuhn atoned for his earlier miss by connecting on the extra point, staking the Tribe to a 13-3 lead with 1:04 left in the third quarter. Neither team scored in the fourth period, as William & Mary defeated New Hampshire for the eighth time in a row. In fact, the Tribe's win was the first by a visiting time at Mooradian Field since William & Mary's 38-34 victory over UNH on Oct. 11, 2008.
LAST MEETING: VILLANOVA-46, UNH-7, DEC. 5, 2009, at Villanova: The 2nd-ranked Villanova Wildcats knocked off the 10th-ranked UNH Wildcats in the wind and snow at Villanova Stadium in the NCAA FCS quarterfinals. A UNH fumble on the game's opening drive was recovered by John Dempsey, who took it four yards for a TD. Angelo Babbaro recorded scoring runs of 25 yards and 59 yards, as Villanova rolled up 343 rushing yards, while UNH was held to -66 yards on the ground.
SCOUTING THE 'OTHER' WILDCATS: Villanova won its first NCAA Football National Championship in 2009, defeating Montana, 23-21, on Dec. 18, 2009. Villanova has been ranked in The Sports Network/Fathead.com Top 10 for a CAA-best 34 straight weeks, though that streak is in jeopardy following last Saturday's 17-14 upset loss at Rhode Island, which dropped 'Nova to No. 9 in both national polls. The Philly-based Wildcats lead the CAA in scoring (28.0 ppg), pass efficiency (159.6), rushing defense (90.6) and third-down conversions (45.4%). Further, Villanova is tied for 2nd in the league in scoring defense (14.2) and stands alone in second place in total defense (275.7 yards per game).
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Villanova seniors Ben Ijalana (OL) and Chris Whitney (QB) are both on the Walter Payton Award Watch List. The Payton Award goes to the FCS National Player of the Year. Ijalana, the starting left tackle, is a behemoth at 6-4, 320 lbs. He and bookend RT Chidozie Ekweozor (6-5, 320) have helped open holes for a rushing attack that has compiled 186.1 yards per game. Whitney, meanwhile, has completed 128 of 190 passes for 1,476 yards and 16 TDs, with only five interceptions. The senior signal caller tops the CAA in pass efficiency (155.1), and the dual-threat also has rushed for 380 yards (42.2 yards per game) and a team-leading seven TDs. The balanced backfield is bolstered by the combination of seniors Aaron Ball (56.2 yards per game/4 TDs) and Angelo Babbaro (34.2 yards per game/4 TDs). Junior WR Norman White ranks first in the CAA in receiving TDs (7), is tied for third in receptions per game (5.0) and is ranked fourth with 61.3 receiving yards per game. Villanova LB Terence Thomas is on the Buchanan Award Watch List. The Buchanan Award goes to the nation's defensive player of the year. Thomas has 49 tackles, including 28 unassisted, which is only good for third-most on the squad. Fellow LB Marquis Kirkland leads the way with 62 tackles, and FS Fred Maldonado has 59 stops. And, despite missing the bulk of the season due to injury, Villanova still boasts one of the most dynamic players in D-I FCS history in multi-threat Matt Szczur. The senior WR was a first-team All-American, CAA Offfensive Player of the Year, CAA Special Teams Player of the Year and the Most Outstanding Player of the FCS National Championship Game in 2009. This season, Szczur has been held to only four games after suffering a sprained ankle Sep. 25 vs Penn, though he may return for this game.
UNH-VILLANOVA ALL-TIME SERIES (VILLANOVA LEADS, 11-9): The CAA's two Wildcats have been virtually even since meeting on the gridiron for the first time in 1988. The two schools split last year's meetings, with UNH laying claim to a 28-24 triumph at Cowell Stadium on Homecoming, Oct. 10, and Villanova avenging that defeat by virtue of its 46-7 triumph in the NCAA quarterfinals. Coach McDonnell is 3-7 in his career versus Andy Talley, the winningest coach in CAA history, but UNH has won three of the past five meetings. Here is the breakdown of UNH/Villanova games during the Coach Mac era:
Date Home/Away Score W/L
12/5/09 Away 7-46 L
10/10/09 Home 28-24 W
11/8/08 Away 13-24 L
10/1/05 Home 41-17 W
10/2/04 Away 51-40 W
9/13/03 Home 14-48 L
9/21/02 Away 3-45 L
11/3/01 Home 35-38 L
10/21/00 Away 42-49 L
10/30/99 Home 28-31 L
TALE OF THE TAPE:
Totals (CAA Rank) UNH VILLANOVA
Total Yards Gained 3,184 (4) 3,287 (3)
Total Offense 353.8 (4) 365.2 (3)
Rush Offense 120.3 (9) 186.1 (2)
Pass Offense 233.4 (1) 179.1 (6)
Points Per Game 22.8 (5) 28.0 (1)
Total Yards Allowed 2,665 (4) 2,481 (2)
Total Defense 296.1 (4) 275.7 (2)
Rush Defense 126.3 (4) 90.6 (1)
Pass Defense 169.8 (3) 185.1 (7)
Points Allowed/Game 15.0 (4) 14.2 (T-2)
Possession Avg. 30:44 (5) 30:43 (6)
Sacks Allowed/Yds Lost 28/198 (10) 12/57 (T-2)
Sacks Made/Yards 22/127 (1) 13/71 (6)
Total Touchdowns Scored 25 (5) 35 (1)
Penalties Against/Yards 64/518 (3) 41/373 (8)
Punts/Avg. 56/36.4 (8) 39/41.2 (2)
Turnover Differential +8 (2) +7 (T-3)
D VS D: The UNH defense is ranked sixth in the nation in points/game (15.0), while Villanova is tied for third (14.2). The top five scoring defenses in the CAA are all ranked in the top seven nationally, with Delaware (1), James Madison (T-3) and William & Mary (7) all situated among the top defensive units in the land.
V IS FOR VASSO: Senior cornerback Dino Vasso, following his two interceptions at JMU on Oct. 16, has reached five interceptions in a season for the third straight year. His career total of 17 interceptions is three shy of the school record of 20, held by Bill Pappas (1952-54). He also leads the CAA in picks and one more interception would move him into a tie for eighth all-time in conference history.
EVANS REMAINS TOP STOPPER IN CAA: With 113 tackles, Matt Evans leads the CAA in that category and is tied for 3rd in the nation in tackles. Here is a glance at the Top 5 in FCS football:
Rank Player/College Tackles
1. A.J. Storms/Idaho State 115
2. Kyle Glazier/Western Illinois 114
T-3. Matt Evans/UNH 113
T-3. Matthew Parker/St. Francis (Pa.) 113
T-3. Scott Lewis/St. Francis (Pa.) 113
EVANS HITS 20 TACKLES VS W&M: Matt Evans' 20 tackles versus William & Mary on Nov. 6 were the most registered in one game by a Wildcat since Jeff Pammer tallied 21 tackles against Northeastern on Nov. 3, 2007. The 20 stops match the most by an individual in the CAA this season (URI's Matt Hansen vs W&M, Oct. 9).
INDIVIDUAL DEFENSIVE STANDOUTS: In addition to Vasso and Evans leading the CAA in interceptions (5) and tackles (113), respectively, the Wildcats also boast the league's top defensive standouts in sacks (Brian McNally-7.0).
OH, THEN THERE'S THE O: Though the defense has overshadowed the offense a bit in 2010, QB R.J. Toman does pace the CAA in total offense (239.9 yds/gm.) and ranks second in passing yards per game (225.0). WR Terrance Fox is No. 1 in the CAA in receptions per game (5.9) and second in receiving yards per game (62.4)
WILDCATS AMONG CAA LEADERS (alphabetical):
Player Category CAA Rank Total
Alan Buzbee Fumbles Forced T-2 2
Matt Evans Tackles 1 113
Matt Evans Tackles Per Gm 1 12.6
Matt Evans Fumbles Rec. T-2 2
Matt Evans Fumbled Forced T-2 2
Kyle Flemings Passes Defended T-3 9
Kyle Flemings Interceptions T-5 3
Terrance Fox Receptions/gm 1 5.9
Terrance Fox Rec. Yards/gm. 2 62.4
Terrance Fox All Purpose Yds. 5 100.9
John Greer Interceptions T-5 3
Mike MacArthur Field Goal % 3 72.7
Mike MacArthur Field Goals Made T-3 8
Brian McNally Sacks 1 7.0
Dontra Peters Rushing Offense 7 58.6
Dontra Peters Scoring TDs T-4 7
R.J. Toman Total Offfense 1 239.9
R.J. Toman Passing Offense 2 225.0
Dino Vasso Interceptions T-1 5
Dino Vasso Passes Defended 1 12
2010 UNH WEEKLY AWARDS
Player Weekly Award Date
Matt Evans CAA Defensive Player 10/25
Matt Evans Gold Helmet Award 10/20
Matt Evans ECAC Defensive Player 10/19
Matt Evans CAA Co-Defensive Player 10/18
John Greer ECAC Defensive Player 10/12
John Greer College Sporting News All-Star 10/11
John Greer CAA Defensive Player 10/11
R.J. Toman Gold Helmet Award 9/29
R.J. Toman ECAC Offensive Player 9/28
R.J. Toman CAA Offensive Player 9/27
Terrance Fox CAA Spec. Teams Player 9/6
VASSO, YOUNG, TOMAN UNDER FINAL CONSIDERATION FOR FCS SENIOR SCOUT BOWL : Seniors Dino Vasso (CB), R.J. Toman (QB) and Steve Young (DT) are all under final consideration to participate in the FCS Senior Scout Bowl on Dec. 11, 2010. The Collegiate Development Football League (CDFL) is proud to present the "FCS Senior Scout Bowl." This game will showcase the talent of FCS Division Senior Football players at the conclusion of the 2010 season. Eighty-six players will compose two teams in a North vs. South format all-star game to be held in the Metro New York area. The selected players will have earned the right to play against their peers in a showcase game for all to recognize their talent. For more information on the FCS Senior Scout Bowl, visit www.fcsseniorbowl.com.
EVANS ADDED TO MIDSEASON WATCH LIST FOR CFPA LINEBACKER OF THE YEAR: Matt Evans has been added to the midseason watch list for the College Football Performance Award (CFPA) Linebacker of the Year. The purpose of the College Football Performance Awards is to provide the most scientifically rigorous conferments in college football. Recipients are selected exclusively based upon objective scientific rankings of the extent to which individual players increase the overall effectiveness of their teams. As prominent scholars from a wide variety of disciplines note, CFPA eliminates the politics and biases that vitiate balloting-based awards. Furthermore, CFPA is the only awards organization to receive praise from both Republican and Democratic White House officials for promoting objectivity and fairness in college football.
THREE'S COMPANY: UNH defeated three straight ranked opponents for the first time in school history. Richmond was ranked 11th when it fell, 17-0, at Cowell Stadium on Oct. 9; James Madison was ranked sixth when it dropped a 24-14 homecoming decision to the visiting Wildcats on Oct. 16; and UMass was No. 12 when it lost, 39-13, in the inaugural Colonial Clash at Gillette Stadium on Oct. 23. The streak of wins over ranked foes was snapped by virtue of the 13-3 loss to William & Mary on Nov. 6.
THIRD AND A FEW: UNH has outscored FCS opponents 44-7 in the third quarter this season. The Wildcats had blanked all FCS foes in the third prior to a 1-yard TD run from W&M's Jonathan Grimes with :56 remaining in the quarter Nov. 6.
•Senior Kevon Mason is the only Wildcat with at least one reception in every game. He has a streak of 13 straight games with at least one grab and, dating back to the 2009 season opener, has made at least one catch in 19 of the last 20 games. Mason's seven receptions (for 65 yards) vs. William & Mary on Nov. 6 were a career high.
•Dontra Peters' 197 rushing yards vs. Central Connecticut State (Sept. 4) is the single-game high for all CAA running backs this season.
•R.J. Toman needs 536 yards of total offense to place among the CAA's career Top 10 in that department.
•Hugo Souza not only racked up 14 tackles to move into sixth place all-time in UNH history (309), but he added his first career punt (28 yards) and returned four punts for 48 yards, including a career-best 25-yard return, in the defeat to William & Mary on Nov. 6.
•The loss to the Tribe was the first this season for UNH when scoring first (5-1). The three points were the fewest scored in a home game since a 39-0 loss to W&M on Sept. 23, 1995.
•The last road team other than William & Mary to win at Cowell Satdium was Northeastern (31-13) on Nov. 3, 2007.
•Prior to the setback against the Tribe on Nov. 6, UNH had rattled off 14 consecutive victories in their blue uniforms.